Monday, 26 October 2009

Cramps! But I prevail...just

I'm the one in the blue shirt, with the awful form, trying to hang onto the coattails of the guy in the white singlet. This was taken just before the 26 mile mark

The weather today was ideal for marathon running, as was the start in contrast to last year's squeeze and shuffle down Holles street. Additionally, Leeson street, St. Stephen's Green and Dawson street are a bit more picturesque than the Lombard street area! However, I did have this guy who insisted in suddenly slowing and passing across my stride, which he managed to do three times in the first two miles. Anyway by the the time we reached the Phoenix park it had settled down nicely. There was certainly more spectators there this year. The temperature being thirteen degrees warmer probably helped.
The first half went really well and I passed it in 01:29:00; spot on. I was feeling really strong, despite my HR being 169 since the end of the first mile and it rarely went a bpm above or below for the whole marathon.
I was putting out very consistent miles and my heart, head and lungs felt good, my legs, not so much! I could feel both hamstrings and my calves beginning to cramp up. At mile nineteen I thought my marathon was over. I had to stop and stretch my hamstrings at the side of the road. Alot of other people were pulling up here also. I heard a girl to my right say 'Oh God!', the verbal expression of my thoughts were a little less civilised! I managed to get going again and after a quarter of a mile I was surprised to see my pace back in the 06:40s! The last seven miles were very tough and I was breathing very very heavy but managed 06:50s pace with my HR in the early 170s. I had no idea if I was still in sub three hour pace as I set the garmin to lap info only and refused to look at my overall time. On reflection, I am very happy with the consistent pace I managed over the last six miles, despite hurting bad and I have to admit I thought I was slower than I actually was.
I had to concentrate very hard to relax my hamstrings and calves and as I passed the twenty-six mile post I was sure I was home and dry. Then I felt a sharp pain in my right calf and was basically running on my right hip with my leg rigid. Thankfully it loosened and I managed a relatively dignified line crossing.
Anyway, I crossed the line in 03:00:26. Close to sub three but I am not overly disappointed. I would have been happy with anything sub 03:05 and to finish so close to sub three on no more than fifty-five miles per week augurs well if I increase my mileage by only a modest amount. On to the next marathon! Maybe Boston...

Time: 03:00:26
Average pace: 06:49/mile
Average HR: 169

Sunday, 18 October 2009

92 per cent

One week to go before the marathon. Reviewing my Pfitzinger & Douglas training plan demonstrates that I completed 92 per cent of the prescribed mileage. The completion of the programme's final week might push that towards 93 per cent. Overall I was very good about following the programme with interruptions in three weeks accounting for not completing 100 per cent. Two of these weeks were justified with illness accounting for one and a very heavy week of travel for work accounting for another. The third week had no excuse, it was my naughty week. Next week I will need to be dilligent about eating well and sleeping as much as I can and then hoping the conditions are good for a good performance on 26 October.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Bart Yasso 800s

Yesterday evening I scheduled a Bart Yasso session. This involves running ten repeats of 800 metres. If you run ten of these 800m repeats at an average of three minutes ten seconds per interval it is an indication that you can complete a marathon in three hours and ten minutes. The recovery period between intervals should match the average time it takes to complete an interval. Hope that all makes sense!
I set out with the aim of completing the intervals in an average of three minutes, with three minutes recovery between intervals. Upon completion of the workout I found I had completed the intervals in an average of 02.55. According to the workout's premise I should be able to complete a marathon in approximately two hours and fifty-five minutes. I am very sceptical of this claim. Having trawled a forum threads and websites I found little or no consensus on Yasso 800s but most felt that a more accurate reflection of your marathon time would be to add five minutes to what a Yasso 800 session indicates. Additionally, many stated that they were reasonably accurate but only in the context of a holistic marathon programme that includes tempo runs, long slow runs and recovery runs. In short, no definitive answer but it seems prudent not to read too much into a Yasso session.

Split Time Distance Max Speed Avg HR
1 0:12:48 1.49 5:50 132
2 0:02:57 0.5 5:30 171
3 0:03:00 0.34 6:07 153
4 0:02:52 0.5 4:51 167
5 0:03:00 0.37 5:45 152
6 0:02:52 0.5 5:22 164
7 0:03:00 0.35 5:53 151
8 0:02:56 0.5 5:21 168
9 0:03:00 0.34 6:20 153
10 0:02:56 0.5 5:32 168
11 0:03:00 0.34 6:00 152
12 0:02:57 0.5 5:23 169
13 0:03:00 0.32 5:47 153
14 0:02:56 0.5 5:40 166
15 0:03:00 0.33 5:54 151
16 0:02:55 0.5 5:22 167
17 0:03:00 0.32 6:16 152
18 0:02:53 0.5 5:16 166
19 0:03:00 0.33 5:09 153
20 0:02:55 0.5 5:05 167
21 0:03:00 0.33 5:20 149
22 0:06:22 0.67 7:13 135
Summary 1:18:25 10.5 4:51 153

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Chi Running workshop

Last saturday I did a Chi Running workshop run by Catherine McKiernan. It took place in Castleknock hotel, which is in actual fact no where near Castleknock. I took the number thirty-nine bus to Clonsilla and had to run the last mile to get there in time. According to Mapmyrun the hotel is just over five mile from Smithfield. In short I should have ran there, it would have been at least twenty minutes quicker than getting the bus. The circutuitous and irrational route taken by the bus demonstrates yet again that CIE is a benevolent society run at taxpayers' expense for the benefit of its management and employees.
Okay, rant over. The workshop was very interesting and began with an overview of Chi Running principles. Then we went outside and were videod running. After lunch we went through more drills and viewed the running videos taken of each of the ten workshop participants. This was very interesting and while I am now striking midfoot rather than heel striking it was worthwhile to see what I was doing incorrectly, especially with my upper body.
Hopefully, the drills we went through and a better insight into and understanding of Chi Running will improve my running. It really is something that will take months to properly ingrain.
An additional bonus was to listen to and be instructed by a world class athlete like Catherina McKiernan.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Dublin Half marathon

On 26 September the Dublin half marathon took place in the Phoenix park. It began ten minutes late and much to everyone's surprise the sun came out and the temperature noticeably increased just before it began. I went through the first mile in 06:44. The next few miles passed by in the mid 06:40s and mile six and most of mile seven were a nice gentle negative gradient down Chesterfield road. These miles elapsed in 06:39 and 06:36. Mile eight involved going up Kyber Pass. Going up this so often in my training meant I was not very intimidated by it but was worried ascending too quickly. On this hill I passed alot of other runners.
By mile ten, when we approached the Upper Glen Road I was feeling very good and new a PB was guaranteed unless disaster struck. Going up Glen road I passed a number of other runners who were beginning to struggle now. This was a great boost and I left behind the guy in a red and yellow singlet I had been swapping places with over the previous ten miles. His stride fascinated me though. It was a perfect midfoot strike and I think he was running well within himself with his sights set firmly on another race entirely.
Mile twelve did get a little tough with a fairly steep uphill section for about a third of a mile along Knockmaroon Road and I completed it in 07:00. The last mile was an opportunity to put the foot down a little and went through it in 06:34, the fastest mile of the race. My finish time was 01:28:24, besting my previous PB by one minute and twenty-one seconds. I was very happy with this race and still felt I had some left in the tank.

Split Time Avg HR
1 0:06:44 163
2 0:06:43 170
3 0:06:44 171
4 0:06:47 171
5 0:06:42 171
6 0:06:39 168
7 0:06:35 168
8 0:06:48 171
9 0:06:46 171
10 0:06:39 170
11 0:06:52 171
12 0:07:00 170
13 0:06:34 172
14 0:00:46 174
Summary 1:28:24 170